budget

Gov. Rick Scott has signed the $88.7 billion state budget, and stakeholders in education are crying foul.  Superintendents, teachers unions and gubernatorial candidates fear cuts to K-12 programs. Now, they’re condemning Scott after calls for a veto and special session went unheeded.

Gov. Rick Scott quickly signed a new $88.7 billion state budget that boosts funding for K-12 education by $485 million. But many district superintendents say the package still shortchanges schools.

Associated Press

In a rare Sunday overtime session, the Florida Legislature passed a budget of nearly $89 billion for next year to end a session that was overshadowed by the mass shootings in Parkland.

Lawmakers needed extra time to finish a budget after the mass shooting in Parkland forced them to quickly craft a response that included a three-day waiting period, a minimum age of 21 to buy a gun in Florida, and $400 million for mental health, school safety and a program that allows school personnel to carry concealed weapons.

Nursing Homes, Safety Net Hospitals Win In Budget

Mar 9, 2018
Steve Lambert / flickr

Nursing homes will get a $130 million bump in Medicaid payments, and residents who live in the facilities will get nearly a 25 percent increase in a monthly stipend they can use for personal needs, under a state budget deal finalized Thursday.

Under the spending plan, the state during the upcoming year would spend $37.1 billion across six state health-care and social-service agencies. Nearly $9.9 billion of that amount would be state general-revenue tax dollars, compared to the $9.4 billion during the current year.

Senate Poised To Approve Tax Package

Mar 9, 2018
Associated Press

The Senate is set Friday to approve a business-friendly tax package that would allow Floridians to buy tax-free clothes and school supplies during three days in August and tax-free hurricane gear at the start of June.

The $168.6 million package, if passed by the Senate, would still have to go back to the House for approval before the end of the legislative session, now likely to be Sunday. The Senate on Thursday made changes to a House bill (HB 7087) to offer shorter tax “holidays” and a smaller cut in a business-lease tax.

JMV0586 / FLICKR

Florida Supreme Court justices are in line for a 24 percent pay raise in the new state budget.

The 2018-2019 budget, which is expected to be approved Sunday, would provide $42,180 raises for the seven justices on the state’s highest court, increasing their salaries to $220,600.

Lawmakers said a factor in the raise is that three vacancies will have to be filled in January as longtime justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince leave the bench because of a mandatory retirement age.

The Florida legislative session is heading into overtime after a disagreement over how to fund hospitals stalled negotiations. The two chambers reached an agreement Wednesday how to reimburse the facilities for treating low income and uninsured patients.

Florida lawmakers will need to go into overtime because of an impasse about hospital spending in final negotiations over a new state budget. 

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

A controversial solution employed by Miami’s mayor to solve a financial crisis that greeted him as he took office eight years ago may turn around to bite him on the way out the door.

Florida New Majority

As Miami-Dade County prepares for public input on its budget, a local non-profit is teaching residents how to advocate for the causes they care about.

Going through Miami-Dade’s $7 billion budget can be a daunting task for the average citizen. 

That is why Florida New Majority says it created a series of workshops to teach the public how to find information in the voluminous budget document.

Holly Pretsky / WLRN

The Miami-Dade County School Board Held a public hearing on Wednesday evening about its new $5.1 billion proposed budget, the highest since 2008. 

The board tentatively also adopted a resolution to tax property owners $6.99 for every $1000 in property value. That's down from last year's $7.32 for every $1000 in property value. 

Two recent college graduates have decided to sue the state for skipping out on school payments.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott continued Monday to criticize legislative budget-slashing of the state's tourism marketing as he announced a record-setting quarter of visitors to Florida.

Still Scott hasn't indicated what he'll do with a new $82.4 billion state budget when it lands on his desk. "I’ve got a lot of options. I can veto the whole budget, I can veto a portion of the budget, a line of the budget, I can do special session, so I’m looking at all those options," Scott told reporters at a press conference at Miami's Jungle Island.

Florida's top Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that they finally reached a deal on a new budget that should clear the way for them to end their session early next week.


Updated 2:10 p.m. ET

The Senate approved the bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that funnels money to nearly every corner of the federal government and keeps it running through the end of the current fiscal year in September. The House approved the measure on Wednesday, and it now goes to President Trump for his signature.

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